Pike’s election and local government bills gain unanimous Senate approval; One is heading to the governor


March 5, 2013

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Pike’s election and local government bills gain unanimous Senate approval; One is heading to the governor


A measure by 18th District State Rep. Liz Pike that would require duplicate signatures on city and county petitions to be counted once, rather than thrown out completely, passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday.  A second measure, House Bill 2298, that would allow cities and counties to use capital project money to pay for security and technology improvements for new police and fire stations also cleared the Senate Wednesday with a unanimous vote.

Pike, R-Camas, introduced House Bill 2296 to bring city and county petition laws up to the same standards as state law, and to protect the rights of Washington voters when their intent is to sign a petition on initiatives and referendums. She noted the problem with local petitions came to light following a Cowlitz County Superior Court decision in April 2013.

“The case involved petitions circulated to stop the city of Vancouver from spending money for a Columbia River Crossing light-rail component. Clark County would not accept the petitions, saying the effort fell just short for certification, primarily due to duplicate signatures that were invalidated, rather than being counted only one time,” explained Pike. “The petitioners sued in the Cowlitz County Superior Court, saying those petitions must be accepted. They won the case.”

Pike said several courts, including the Washington State Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals have upheld that duplicate signatures on a petition must be counted once and that the striking of all of a single voter’s signatures is unconstitutional.

“My legislation would bring city and county petition signatures into compliance with state law by making duplicate signatures count once, just as state initiative signatures are counted. It protects voters intentions on the petitions and it upholds the spirit of the state constitution,” added Pike.

An amendment replacing language in the original bill was attached in the Senate, meaning the measure will return to the House for further action. Pike said the amendment makes minimal changes to her original measure. She expects the House to concur with the Senate amendment. If that happens, the bill would be sent directly to the governor for his signature.

Pike’s other measure, House Bill 2298, is already on its way to the governor.

“This bill is the result of working with our Cowlitz County Commissioners in meetings over the summer. They were looking for flexibility in the use of capital project money that comes from the proceeds of the real estate excise tax. Technology has come a long way, especially as it relates to security and public safety. They wish to use this money for technology upgrades and infrastructure for police and fire stations,” said Pike. “There’s no tax increase here. It just gives local counties the flexibility they need to advance to 21st century technology for public safety.”

Pike has one other bill awaiting Senate action this week. House Bill 2294 would increase highway littering penalties from $50 to $125 by changing littering from a Class 3 infraction to a Class 2 infraction.

The Senate has until Friday to vote on House measures.

“It has been a very productive legislative session for the people of the 18th District. It appears I could have as many as three bills heading to the governor that offer solutions to protect voters, keep our highways clean and give more flexibility to our local governments. Not bad for a short 60-day session!” said Pike.

The 2014 regular session is scheduled to adjourn on March 13.

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For more information about Rep. Pike, visit: houserepublicans.wa.gov/pike.

Rep. Pike’s media:
official portrait  silent b-roll  photos on Flickr  podcast

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